I've just made a book trailer, and I've been planting it about the internet. I noticed that on Crimespace, it's only had two views, and those are both from me. It's done rather better elsewhere.

My question to authors and readers is, do you think book trailers help to sell a book? Have you ever bought a book because it had an irresistible trailer? And how do you promote the trailer so that it gets a chance to promote your book?

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No, never, and I doubt they work precisely because it needs to reach an audience.
Michael Connelly sold more books after he made the trailer for Echo Park. I think he's who started this mania for promotion.

Personally I look for a web page that allows me to read the first few pages of the book. In a google search sometimes I'll look at the Wikipedia page for the author before I look at the author's page, thinking it'll have less BSP.

The only book trailer I've ever watched was the one for Echo Park. Otherwise I recall the you tube video about an authoron the phone trying to get his publisher to promote his book. Of course the publisher puts it all on the author's shoulders, so I don't envy you your long, hard row to hoe.
I may be wrong, but wasn't Echo Park well into Michael Connelly's most successful years? No doubt his publisher paid for promotion and for trailer placement.
No he paid to make the trailer himself, supposedly $10K in 2006 dollars,. Here's the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ndCN3uHinE&feature=related In fact if you search you tube for Michael Connelly he has several interviews on his take on writing as well as other trailers. In case there are any Connelly fans out there.
Personally, I don't know that I've ever watched a book trailer, and I doubt that for me they would be that strong an influence to buy, although they could be a strong influence not to buy.

There was a discussion on the Murderati blog a while back about this sort of thing, and the majority of respondents indicated that they wouldn't buy a book just because of a trailer. Maybe it's just me, but I'm more likely to be influenced by the author's voice and writing style. That's probably not something you're going to get in a book trailer.
I can see where an established author will use trailers on their website, but I would rather read a book pitch than see it. Just my .02, of course.
A trailer isn't instead of a book pitch, or reading a sample; it's an extra.

On reflection, the prevalence of book trailers suggests they are an effective way of promotion, perhaps attracting readers who wouldn't otherwise come across the book. Though like any other form of marketing, they will no doubt be more useful to an author who already has a following.
I think they would probably be more useful to an author who already has a following.

As to the prevalence of trailers, that probably owes a lot to the fact that all new forms of promotion get the dogpile routine when they first come out. Everyone thinks they have to jump on, so there are a lot of them. But are there so many that people are getting swamped and don't really pay attention to them? Trailer overload can easily cause any potential audience to blow them off.
I'm beginning to think the video section of Crimespace is a bit of a waste of bandwidth. None of the videos seem to have been watched much.

But perhaps the owners of the site think it's like ereaders in the UK - an idea that will come for sure, but hasn't quite caught on yet.
Hmm, a video section. :) Who knew? I think I must be a printed word person.
I'm a little late in this discussion. My take is that when placing trailers on sites such as Crimespace and Murderati, you're playing to an audience of experts, critics, writers, and the like. We tend to be more critical. The general public, on the other hand, is not reading trailers on these sites but on social media sites. Try sites geared toward the average reader, not writer. They are likely to be more responsive. It's sort of like going to a showcase of bands. The agents are backstage all jaded and disconnected but the key is to watch the audience reactions, the audience of average club goers. They are the ones who buy the tickets, not the agents. Hoorah!
Lee, I'm sure that's true. One of the things I'm enjoying as I sell ebooks, is the enthusiasm of ordinary people who've read and liked Remix. Fellow writers tend to read with their writers' hats on (which can be useful - they may tell one how to fix any problem they notice) and perhaps the same is true of writers watching book trailers.

I confess, I'm a little surprised at how few people actually look at the trailers here, though they seem happy enough to discuss them.


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